And as soon as it was day, the elders of the people and the chief priests and the scribes came together, and led him into their council, saying, Art thou the Christ? tell us. And he said unto them, If I tell you, ye will not believe:
Finally they come out and say what they’d been wondering all along. On their turf, with armed men all around, after they’d roughed Jesus up a little bit, they finally ask the big question. They wanted Him to say it, but not so that they could believe Him and become His followers. Not so that they could be set free from their sins or be made whole. Not so that they could finally experience the peace and love of God on a personal level.
It was never about knowing the truth or understanding who Jesus was. It was always about destroying a man who they felt threatened by in their position as religious rulers and authorities. They saw themselves as guardians of the law but denied God Himself among them. They approached Him every time with only a closed heart and the idea that He was a liar and a blasphemer, some kind of law-breaker leading people astray.
The Pharisees were so determined to manipulate everything Jesus did into their own warped view of who He was and what He was doing. They tried to fit what He said and did into what they already believed instead of looking at it in a new way. And there are a lot of people today still trying to do the same thing. They don’t want to know the truth; they just want to be validated in what they already believe. And how dangerous it is to take that road.
Let’s be careful not to allow our own close-mindedness to hinder God’s truth from working in our lives. Maybe we have some ideas or expectations about who God is or what the Bible says that are based on flawed thinking or untruths of some kind. Let’s not make up our minds about something without finding out what God really says first. Let’s not allow our hearts to be hardened to the point where a plain answer from God Himself would not be enough to make us believe.